You might feel alone, but you are NOT.
There are hundreds of people just like you.
Waiting for you to make a move.
Being social has a HUGE effect on how well your brain works.
Researchers have been amazed at the difference getting out there can make.
‘People with the highest levels of interaction with family, friends, and other people were more likely to retain cognitive functioning.’
(Harvard School of Population Health, using data from the Health and Retirement Study, 2008. 16,000 participants between 1998 and 2004)
Not only that, the changes were particularly evident among people most at risk for dementia: (fewer than 12 years of education and those with “vascular conditions” such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or stroke.)
So don’t let poor health be your excuse.
Social people are more likely to visit the doctor when they need to, take more exercise, feel less stress and are more likely to engage in brain-stimulating tasks.
So, how to make this YOU!
- If you usually wait for others to reach out to you, find the courage to pick up the phone and propose a time and place for meeting.
Go on, make that call.
- Make a difference in someone else’s life. Look out for volunteer opportunities – handyman help, mentoring, helping at the local school…
- Is rejoining the work force a possibility? A job offersan income as well as opportunities to connect with others.
- Get up to speed with technology. E-mail and telephones connect you to the world. Libraries offer free online time joining SeniorNet in your area will give you the skills and information you need.
- Find like-minded individuals through organizations or hobbies that interest you. Local newspapers are a good source of this information. A walking group? Art class? U3A?
- Learn a new skill, brush up on an old one, or pursue a passion. Local colleges and adult education centres offer up many new experiences—from learning a language, to studying art history, Asian cooking or Brain Fit for Life™ classes.
We’d love to hear your suggestions to help others so please leave us a comment below.